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09.05.2004 Regional News

Government urged to set up ministry for disabled

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Kumasi, May 9, GNA-A call has gone to the government for the setting up of a special Ministry for the disabled.
Evangelist Sam Williams, deaf preacher of the circle branch of the Church of Christ in Accra, who made the call, said this would enable the government focus on the people with disabilities with reference to their problems and contributions to national development.
He was speaking at the 15th annual lectureship, fellowship and workshop for over 300 deaf people and their families nationwide in Kumasi on Saturday.
The programme, organised by the deaf ministry of the Kumasi-Asafo branch of the Church, was on the theme: "What The Deaf Needs".
Evangelist Williams said the deaf faces a number of problems more than the other people with disabilities in the society and called on non-governmental organisations, churches and individuals to support the deaf.
He stressed the need for people to learn the sign language to be able to communicate with them.
Mr John Ernest Amponsah, Ashanti Regional Director of the Department of Social Welfare, called on parents and the general public to assist deaf persons to acquire education to the highest levels and not vocational skills alone.
He called on district assemblies to initiate programmes to educate deaf people on benefits they could obtain from the assemblies.
Mr John Kwasi Brantuo, Headmaster of Ashanti School for the Deaf at Jamasi, called on the society to accept the deaf in their communities and try to liaise with them in a positive way for them to feel that they are part of the society.
He stressed the need for parents to support deaf people by providing them with their basic needs in life, saying, the problems of the deaf was hearing and because of that they are always probing to know what was happening in the society.
Mr Brantuo said the deaf need help in explaining issues to them and this can be done through writing for those who have been to school or by learning the sign language.

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